View Full Version : Incarnational Revealed Nature of Art

05-17-2003, 10:57 AM
Many of us when making art are attempting to flesh out truth...

As a person of faith and as an artist, I am impressed to consider that God communicates by way of revelation. That the essence of my spirituality is that it is a "revealed faith." A scriptural understanding of revelation as Colin Harbinson (maker of Toymaker's Dream production) puts it is as an "uncovering" or "showing." The content of revelation is the uncovering and showing of truth.

This is both a great encouragement and at the same time a challenge. Harbinson goes on to say, " Art works best when it shows rather than tells. When it uncovers what familiarity has concealed, and opens up a fresh perspective of truth; the truth about any subject. This would strongly suggest that artistic expression, at its best, is compatible with God's way of revealing truth to man. Both show and both seek to show truth."

Psalm 19:1-2 declares that "the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." God's creative expression is proclamative; it tells, declares and pours forth speech. It does so by way of revelation; it "reveals knowledge."

For those of us with like worldview, Jesus was the ultimate revelation: "the word made flesh." He alone could say, "He who has seen me has see the Father." As Harbinson says, "Incarnational reality is essential understanding for the artist. Art has to do with "fleshing out" truth from ideas, thoughs, and concepts."

When Jesus communicated (and did so artfully), it was of his understanding that if man were to be truly changed, it would be as a result of receiving and acting upon revelation.

When people asked Jesus direct questions, he often seemed to dodge them by replying with parables. It would seem a strange form of communication when someone would ask about the way to eternal life, and they would be told stories.

In his book, "The Unfolding Kingdom," Lawson writes, "The parables are not made deliberately difficult. But for those who do not wish to commit themselves to their inner message, all they will hear are stories, pure and simple."

"Jesus wanted people to search for the pearl of great price..." (Harbinson continues), so that when they found it, they would sell everything they had in order to obtain it. Our creative communication should be of such a nature that it requires something of its audience--asking questions--and allowing God to grant revelation to those who have ears to hear. The temptation to overcommunicate in order that everyone will understand everything is a misguided notion. We must resist the tendency to give neatly packaged answers; it is not the Jesus style." (emphasis mine)

In wrapping up this interesting chapter by Colin Harbinson, he says, "Communication was creative...art is not a photocopy of reality. Art by definition is indirectional. Picasso observed that "art is a lie that tells the truth." It is a lens through which reality can be perceived and revelation received."

"In conclusion, art is at its best when it uncovers what familiarity has concealed. It is making the familiar unfamiliar, so that it can be revisited with fresh eyes. It allows for objective judgement as artist and audience meet at the point of the work of art. It is a shared experience. No room here for preaching or moralizing, but rather a powerful place of potential revelation as truth is "uncovered" and "shown."


I share all this...because as an artist I have gone thru my own transitions over the years both within the church and out. Having served as a youth pastor...a Christian frontman in a contemporary style (80's hard rock) band, and so on...I had been accustomed to being at the front edge. Controversial to many while trying to reach out to many.

My art works remained ways that I was trying to work thru how to see the world, what to say to the world...and so on.

The church often saw my "skills" as an artist as a means to create for them the convenience of banners, pamphlet designs, and of course always the personal sacrifice of being a servant loomed nearby to silence the inner restlessness that everyone saw as typical of the rebellious natural nature of an artist.

I was however...at the same time a midwest/regionally recognized artist of reputation having won Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year...and so on. The world seemed to demonstrate a much greater interest in my art work and who I was as an artist than the church. Yet, I knew that God loved the church, and that community is an essential part of working out our faith.

Of course it has been said that "truth" is always found out in tension. It is a matter of fleshing all that out to arrive at truth.

What took me many years to realize is that many well meaning individuals in the church will pick up on something one visiting speaker says...or an author, a prejudice spoken here...something in error spoken there. The church too is always in transition and tension is an element for which understanding is fleshed out as well. Though, it all ought to happen patiently and in love. Well...we all are human and fallen though...hahahha....

Thus...as I grew over the many years, I held back frustrations inside with those that viewed art with a good measure of utility, that is...usefulness to whatever cause they might have had.

OFten...the art THEY WANT or see as "Christian" art...is what many would refer to as a propaganda tract-like image.

My wildlife art...or today's plein air landscapes would be seen and are seen by many religious persons as nonessential, irrelevant for the kingdom of God.

I share that here...because I think it is an important topic for us to discuss. What is Christian art?

I submit that it is works of art made by a believer, and nothing more. That we see a glimpse of what an artist might become with Christ as savior and Lord in their life.

God might direct his artist/child to serve or honor Him with a particular useful functional work...but, as a friend of God (like David was referred to), one's work might at most be only a form of celebrating life and/or worship. A response to life and beauty. That is in and of itself most assuredly enough justification for work!

In this sense...there seems to be a better understanding of that in many living in this world...than in the church.

We are surrounded by senseless beauty.

I and some friends sat in an autumn's forest one afternoon upon some large fallen logs. We pulled from our field vests a couple ruffed grouse (game birds), and stretched out their tails. No two birds detailing and markings is ever the same. Intricate to say the least. Yet...who if not by harvesting would ever discover such?

Then we looked about the forest floor to see all the details, vegetation..the intricate patterns of lichens upon the trees, and we discussed how our Creator found pleasure and called it all "very good" to make such beauty. A beauty that is for all apparent purposes goes by unnoticed by modern man. What might be referred to as "senseless beauty."

For many years...that is how many in the church viewed my work. I can probably count on one or certainly at least two hands the number of people...including staff, that ever demonstrated enough interest in my works as an artist to ever bother visiting me in my studio or gallery. Yet...I've had reporters from television, newspapers, visitors from around the country.

I was relevant if I made a poster for an up and coming event at the church...but otherwise remained obscure.

Those are difficult things for an inidividual to work thru, and unfortunately some without understanding might surrender the dreams that God would give them.

Ironically...the church will deliver messages to the congregation about reaching out to the world, yet they ignore the very gifts and answers that God puts right there in their midsts. Individuals already doing just that very thing! Yet...their giftings are not made obvious by standing on a street corner handing out tracts.

I submit that as an artist I have found that while I am here to reach out to the world, I have discovered that God has used me just as much if not more to be somewhat a thorn amongst the believers so that truth ...(which is always held in tension) might cause change for the better. Might bring understanding.

The artist learns and must, to be tough. Compassionate and patient. Strong yet resilient.

We are communicators...yet our work speaks differently. It speaks to ears that hear in ways that others in the church might not be able to. Its message may be understood in modes of revelation that others intellectually and logically are not going to get. Will never get....and whoa to those that suffer at the hands of such persons of authority, or at those who believe they are. Keep lookin' up!

I want to encourage each of you...to celebrate being renewed. To seek out not only your relationship with God, but your identity which will flesh out your particular calling in God. The scripture that we are here to "please God, rather than men"...is important to bare in mind. Secondly...we need to learn to need less the praise and recognition of those that would harness and trap us endlessly to promote their ideas of how art should be properly used.

Remember Christ's methods of using parables to look toward God in how such might be incorporated in your own art, aside from the lack of understanding that others might hold for you.

To the Jews...Christ spoke the Law and referred to scriptures. He knew the Jews were a people filled with passion for such. He did not force the scriptures upon the Greeks and commoners whom had no such passions. As a master communicator, he knew their love for stories...and crafted his messages to reveal truth to those whose hearts were prepared to accept it.

WE have learned over the years...that something is required of the viewer, the listener if a thing shared is to have the kind of impact so as to bring a change of heart. If the truth is delivered without forethought to your audience, like a bull in a China shop... the modern mind is enculturated to simply reject it outright.

For example....by this time, while some nonbelievers have gone this far in reading my opening post here....many others the moment in reading realized I was a believer speaking "Christianese" no doubt exited the thread with disinterest or disdain. My communication here is not meant for them, but for other believers or people interested in the spiritual side of making art and sharing truth as artists.

When a person heard a parable from Jesus, and walked away. They no doubt were mulling the story over and over in their heads thinking there must be a deeper moral to the story. They would get this "ah-HAH!" experience where the light would come on...but at a deeper conscious level. It is at that "ah-Hah!" level that understanding is such so as to change hearts. The surface level of truth is easy to dismiss. This is why propaganda art might bless other believers, but it only alerts others to quickly tune out!

Know your audience. Look to God to be inspired. Understand why God might have endowed you with gifts. Sometimes it is to create a work to return in an offering of praise to Him. Such needs no further justification.

so...Keep creating within the liberty Jesus has won for you, for whom He sets free is free indeed!!!! Enjoy.... :clap:


Ron van den Boogaard
05-18-2003, 11:55 AM
Though closer to being a Taoist rather than of Christian faith, I do agree with a lot of the things said here.
Though I tend to use the word Universe or Universal Intelligence rather than God, there is no difference.

The only thing I tend to disagree with is "Know your audience". I try just to be inspired by the Universe, from the body of work I create an audience will be created, so I don't have to know it when making a piece, the piece will create it's audience.

Keep up the good work, Larry

05-18-2003, 12:07 PM
thanks Ron for your post....and more your having acknowledged that someone made the commitment to read thru this long post.


I know some will read...some will freak at the length and have an "egads...no!" reaction. hahha....don't blame 'em

I know where you are coming from, certainly.

As for "knowing the audience"....in our faith, our mandate is to reach out, and of course to have any success at that one must consider what motivates the hearer/viewer, what compels, what drives...as well as what their needs are. As a revelatory deliverance type communication.

Its really a point as artists in the church we try to get people in positions of authority to understand. Their interests in growth, ie "numbers"...and pleasing people to keep them (their tithe)... often everything is put forth point blank, direct....and upfront.

Christ "knew" his audience and why as a master artist (speaker) selectively opted best routes and deliveries.

Many church people as you say, just put it out there...but the way they do it just causes many to tune out. Yes...they tend to draw and keep a certain people...which pushes away those that are more..shall we say tactful in the arts of communication; keeping others like themselves impatient, quick to judge, insistent on immediate results and so on.

take care....and good to hear your perspective on such!


Ron van den Boogaard
05-20-2003, 07:17 AM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler

As for "knowing the audience"....in our faith, our mandate is to reach out, and of course to have any success at that one must consider what motivates the hearer/viewer, what compels, what drives...as well as what their needs are. As a revelatory deliverance type communication.

In my beleive/faith everything is connected to everything and everybody. Of course there is the same mandate to reach out. "Knowledge comes with a responsibility". Reaching out is what happens in the actual painting, by taking a humble position below the myriad people (to losely quote the Tao) they, will gravitate towards one.

I guess you must agree that you can only reach out to the people that are willing to listen, nothing can be achieved by force. So I rather see it as reaching in and thereby causing the gravitation.

05-22-2003, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by Ron van den Boogaard

I guess you must agree that you can only reach out to the people that are willing to listen, nothing can be achieved by force. So I rather see it as reaching in and thereby causing the gravitation.

Actually...teaching in the classroom...we know there are various techniques whereby we might "win" the group's interest to listen. Albeit incentive, punitive, reward ...and many systems. If we were not able to induce a willingness to listen, there would be no need for schools or education and little expected outcomes. Federal tests are now underway to see if schools are meeting such outcomes.

"willingness" to listen is in and of itself a thing to muse over. The will of a person is often connected to their need, conscious or unconscious...and maybe be a result of a spiritual void or vacuum in their lives, or wholesome aesthetic interests...who knows really? In fact, the motive behind what our hearts enjoy are even very often a mystery to ourselves...which is why one proverb says, "the heart is most deceitful, what man can know it?" or even that the "way seems right to a man, but its end leads to the way of death"

...meaning that everyone might do what is right in his or her own eyes including that which is abhorrent or away from God.

The artist induces with stories, intrigue...woos an audience like a romancer.. or causes the lister/viewer to confront ideas or experiences.

Yes...there are those hearts unwilling to listen. Truth is though, there are other hearts that need to have intrigue united with ideas at which point they are open to receive. Thus, going that extra mile to create such intrigue will still encounter disinterested hearts...but the justification behind their disinterest, disagreeable inclination will be more apparent to other observers for what it is. On the other hand, that extra effort will at the same time "win" an audience otherwise that might have been disinterested.

In the same way that attention to principles of design can win the attention of eyes....a story teller can draw an ear.

we have to care enough about our audience to make such an effort...a sacrifice of our time and talents.


05-22-2003, 01:59 PM
Hello Larry,

I thought your post was quite thought-provoking. I think it is that human quality in deliverance of the message that turns people off. But...we are all human...and communication is a difficult skill to master. I don't fault those people, but as you say...we all have our own way of communicating.

I do agree with you also...that painting is our "gift" back to God. The using of the talents...to show God's creation in our own way...whether it be with religious symbols or not...is equally important and I am sure appreciated. God...to my opinion, is as Julia Cameron in her book, "The Artist's Way", is the Great Creator. How He must feel when people appreciate and honor His Creation with their desire to portray a moment in time and show others. Last night, as I was covering my tender flowers, the sky was sooo beautiful. The peaches, oranges, and lavenders of the sunset....was a brief, but heartening show. I should never be able to produce such beauty, but I can produce a painting that may capture my feelings towards such a sight. My feelings were, as I watched that sunset, like I was being hugged by my Creator....a show just for those who stopped and watched.

I feel very grateful to live in such beauty. Last night on my way home from the store, I saw a little bear cub, another perfect Creation. He was sitting on the side of the road, eating inscets out of a tree stump, looking like a child eating popcorn and watching a parade. I stopped my car and just watched him. I felt very priviledged to have seen that sight. Blessed.

We artists are blessed also, by the ability to stop and look at our Ah haa's. Study them...and try and capture their spirit. I'm sooo very fortunate to have that gift....that gift from the Perfect Artist...God.

Thanks Larry for the stimulating thread!!!!


05-22-2003, 03:05 PM
I was just reading this morning in my quiet time, Nancy...thru one of my books again, and from an artist/believer I met at Cornerstone Festival a number of years ago...Steve Scott, the book "Crying for a Vision"

I often thought of myself as a co-Creator based upon God as thee Creator and myself an artist made in his image...Steve added something interesting though which I've been musing over today.

"We will want to do art work that is 'good work' but also moves critically against the unexamined assumptions of the world of art. Christian artists, while wanting to rescue the centrality and dignity of their calling from the ignorance of those who place no value in the arts and mask their fear with 'spiritual' language, will nonetheless see themselvers less as a 'Co-Creator' (the romantic, post-enlightenment, western ideal) and more as a Covenant partner working hand in hand with a sovereignly gracious god."

I thought that was cool....

very cool!

lots of stuff to chew on and mull over there....


05-26-2003, 04:51 PM
I always have felt like a covenant partner..I don't think I ever felt I could be a co-creator...I am always in awe..mostly all of the time...a covenant partner soaking up all of our creators beauty..a covenant partner shares in the magesty...even when I am in the midst of painting...I only feel as if I am sharing...only sharing in the creation...I subconsciously ask for the knowledge to share in the colors and light...too bring to the canvas..just a captured moment...I am in awe with the process...and really never feel as if I created it...I rarely have any attachment to the final painting...only the shared moment...

I take hikes in the woods everyday..now that the weather has improved a bit..I always carry my paints with me...with every intention to paint...but sometimes Gods creation captures me so much...I paint in my mind...I don't need at times to try and put it down on canvas...

the other morning was just the case...I wore my orange, because it was still turkey season...I didn't bring the shot gun,,,instead I brought my paints...it was very early...a little after sunrise..I knew the turkeys would be down from their roosts...and low and behold...as I crept down the path..in the lower field..I spied movement...so I put my painting case down and turned my orange vest around to the camaflage side...and crept down to an old apple tree and crawled under it...the low branches of the apple tree was a good cover...

as the turkeys approached...I didn't dare breathe...but my senses were very keen..I could hear a low drumming...sometimes for a few moments...than it would stop...if I put my ear closer to the ground..I could hear it better...and as the turkeys approached the drumming sound got louder...

I peered between the branches of the apple tree...and watched as nature unfolded...the drumming sound I heard was the big gobbler fanning his tail...he would fan his tail and strut around the hens...dancing in the morning light...I watched for over an hour as the turkeys moved right past me...I didn't want to disturb them in anyway...

My point in sharing this story..is I did paint that morning...only with my eyes and my memory...it was a shared creative moment with our creator...if I hadn't trusted what God was going to share with me...if I had plodded on with my own intention of painting...I would have missed the moment that was being shared with me...a covenant partnership...if I can keep that awarness in my paintings...in my life...I will have seen more...and be more...

thinking and feeling like a co-creator (alone) may have missed the blessings to a degree...a shared covenant partner..speaks better to me...removes some of my ego......just my thoughts...


05-28-2003, 06:36 PM
As I thought more about my post..I did want to clarify that this is my own individual thinking...:D

I sometimes think I should just continue to paint than to repond to posts that require more eloquent statements...and with the ability to put my thinking forward in the wriiten word...do tend to get in trouble at times...because I don't have the capacitcy to express my thoughts...

When you have good intention to do something good.. I find that God helps you more than half way...perhaps a good painting...or our attempt at being in a shared covenant,,,is our own parable in a way...a painting can be simply understood by others,,,and some people just walk away from it...our own individaul expression of our thoughts...and maybe it is being a co creator in a humble way...

See Larry you did give me food for thought...;) anyway I will keep thinking on it...


05-28-2003, 07:08 PM
Hey Sunny....hope you didn't think my lack of response meant anything that spurred your feeling a need to expolate further.

all good things you've shared, and I'll probably share even more thoughts on them...

I've been busy with school wrapping up, kiln loading and firing of pieces by graduating seniors....just sold a couple nice priced pieces at a gallery that now wants a half-dozen more pieces, and so on.

Really bad...that I have a debate going on evolution, God's existence, moral worldviews etc., in the debate forum under the "George Washington" thread I started, but I've had little time but to contribute as I can. Each time....I add a significant thing I believe for people to chew on....but, not enough to be as active as I'd like. All you can do is all you can do....so, I'll give myself some grace considering what's on my plate at the moment!

I really enjoyed your sharing of the turkey incident. It is really something to be in the wild, and many simply don't know how cool it is.

Yesterday I was trying to point out a common Redpoll songbird with its gorgeous colored head sittin' on a pine to some students and they were like, "where....where?" ...and then it struck them odd that a man was so interested in a songbird, and one student said, "you're...really, um...different Mr Seiler!" as though manliness would preclude that one ought to be indifferent to the world that surrounds.

I often see wildlife while out painting. Once I saw several deer come out into a field I was in and because I was part of the scenery in a near fixed stationary position painting for sometime, they ignored me. They jumped around like dogs at play, hopping up on each other's backs, and pawing at each other standing on hind legs.

Another time...I heard this stiff wind sound, and near 40 Eastern Turkeys were gliding off tall oak trees on a ridge above and behind me to a field on the other side of a known trout river I was set up painting by. They passed perhaps 15' above my head, and their stiff primary feathers were cutting the air briskly. They landed and were about 120 yards away and sang songs for about an hour to my great pleasure. All such cool things!!!

I see a covenant partner as one that does what one has been designed to do but with an intended purpose. God is redemptive and loving in nature and his acts of love go out not into the void nor do they return to Him void...but with intention and grace.

Our works demonstrate our redemptive nature....they reach out and minister blessings to others.

We are ambassadors or types of Christ...and imagine Jesus set up in a field painting. Being called and then aligning your will, your passions to serve and carry out that calling we paint, but not without purpose. If we celebrate...it is as a form of thanksgiving. We have a contract...a covenant thru the loving obedience and act of Jesus...for which the Father promises to carry thru for us that which has been proclaimed in the new covenant (New Testament) for us...and we as co-heirs fullfill our end of the contract, walking by faith.

Our works empowered to bless others....to touch, to provoke thought. Works for which the Holy Spirit can minister thru us. Thus, our works are not simply signs of God's intention in the creation of man. True, man creating is a marvel that glorifies the Creator side of God....but as those redeemed, our works thru the power of the Holy Spirit can go out like God's word into the dark and not return void. They can touch lives. Power to stimulate thought, appreciation, seeds...that can lead to opportunity for the Holy Spirit.


05-28-2003, 08:01 PM
no Larry anyones lack of respones didn't evoke me to respond further,,,lol

This thread just gave me room for my thoughts to move around a bit...lots of stuff to chew on..as I think you may have said...which is a good thing...I haven't had the time to be at WC the past few days...and when I do I seem to be gravitated to all of these post in the Creative forum...its a good thing for the brain to chew on...and the heart to embrace...

Funny...wierd...or I term it better as being different...is a word that has been associated to me all of my life...and thats "ok"...its where I am in my own evolvement..and if it is different than others.. so be it...it is a place of peace...o place of being small, but grand revelations... and so I will continue to be in this place..for I find joy in it...

I have a quote I dearly love..from Martin Luther King...I love aspects of it...for the word servitude encompasses.(being a slave too)(which I don't like that part..being a slave to anythin...and I may not have the quote right...but as I know it..it is thus...."not everyone can become famous..but everyone can be a great in servitude.....I would like to see the word become service...because we can be great in service...and thru our painting...yes it is a service to ourselves...but some parts of me feel a service to others..when they enjoy and relish in what your painting speaks to them...

I do imagine Christ set up in a field painting...thats why I said our paintings could be a parable in a way...they do speak to some...and not to others...thats the key that made me think...we may have a little co creator in us...not just a covenant partner alone...we as artists... may speak in parables in away...and that revalation makes me look at Jesus' parables in a different light...because I always thought...hey if you have such a great message,,,why don't ya just tell us.. why do you have to make us run around your words all of the time...

By me placing Jesus is my mind as the greatest artist...and knowing what I know of how different people respond to my works of art..it is easier to understand his words..as the parables they are...as his artistic expression...does that sound way too off?..where compared to paintings..they can speak to some and not others

yes I have always found art to touch lives..and it does have the power to stimulate thought..and the appreciation of the simple things in our lives..and to grow the Holy Spirit in our souls...as a painter or an appreciator of the painted works...such power and such magesty at times... takes my breathe away

You are just making me think... :)


Keith Russell
06-01-2003, 11:34 AM
Good morning, everyone.

Larry, I've read ever word.

No fear...


06-01-2003, 12:03 PM
a person open to truth should never have anything to fear whatsoever as concerns intellectual matters...as God made the brain and its intellectual capacity. With our belief He is THEE truth, we are predisposed to not fear or run from challenges. However, the burden to study and show oneself approved to face intellectual challenges is what amounts to the scant showing of many in the faith. It is not that answers are not evident...but that people willing and able to sacrifice the time for such endeavors are few.

On the other hand...there are those that see the need for someone to say something, but are ill equipped. The apparent folly of such supplant reasons many intellectuals opposed to the faith remained ensnared in their philosophies.

In our faith, however...there is this understanding of being "called" for various things. Many simply do not "feel" called in light of so much need from raising children and so on....which is one other reason for what appears to be the lack of intellectual discourse.

nice you dropped in Keith!

When I have time...because integrity requires such, I'll be working my way thru the Washington thread. I'm only now up to opening page five.

This weekend was senior graduation, today I perform for a paid gig birthday party. Last week of school coming up for the week, cleaning of the room....and so on. Sold a couple works at one gallery three days ago,and received the world they want a half-dozen more framed up pieces asap....so, I have been weighed down. Take care....


Keith Russell
06-01-2003, 03:38 PM
Larry, I was responding specifically to this section of your initial post:
For example....by this time, while some nonbelievers have gone this far in reading my opening post here....many others the moment in reading realized I was a believer speaking "Christianese" no doubt exited the thread with disinterest or disdain. My communication here is not meant for them, but for other believers or people interested in the spiritual side of making art and sharing truth as artists.

If your post wasn't intended for non-believers, why mention us at all? Doesn't doing so only help to strengthen the divide between us?

Yes, there are some non-believers who are hateful, or who are (in true contradictory fashion) angry at 'God', or who fear the loss of self-identity that religious conversion often appears to bring.

There are many of us, though, who--myself included--simply see no reason to believe. Nonetheless, we remain curious as to why others are so willing to believe, despite what often appears to us non-believers as a near total lack of evidence upon which to base such belief.

Speaking only for myself, I am not disdainful, nor fearful, nor angry, mocking, or insulting.

Merely curious.

(And, conversion can work in both directions.)

Hope you've had a great weekend, good luck with your projects, and I'm looking forward to your return to the discussion. Take your time, I'm in no hurry.


06-01-2003, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
If your post wasn't intended for non-believers, why mention us at all? Doesn't doing so only help to strengthen the divide between us?


I suppose most certainly it can be taken as such...

at the same time, I'm lettin' them off the hook a bit too should they be wondering if I have any inkling that what I'm sharing is of a nature that is for many the stuff they'd rather not hear. I know and I'm comfortable that what I believe is of little concern for some, the stuff of jest and pity for others and so forth.

It underscores that if they read all the way thru and have a good mine to take issue, that I didn't anticipate them to bother to read as far as they did. Welcome to read thru if they so wish...and that I'm not offended if they decide its a bother which they'd rather not.

It is also a nod and a wink for those I feel spiritually connected that they have labored to stick with me. Garsh...I wrote a long one after all!!! ;)

As for strengthening the divide...one can be cordial though taking opposite positions. Still, the divide is what it is. Truth divides, and Jesus said it would. He blessed those that would not as a result stub their toe as they tripped over Him.

People often look for justification to rationalize their wanting to dislike another. One can belong in different intellectual and spiritual camps...yet enjoy a good cup of coffee together and friendly banter.

You are right...it can be taken as you suggest. Perhaps it also demonstrates that I am aware of the divide...and that there is no reason to be offended with my worldview at least in this particular thread as I am directing the thoughts toward those that are open to receive them. Those, at this time that are standing on my side of the divide.

take care....and funny as it may sound, I do appreciate c'ha Keith! You are part of the personality and character of what makes WC special here for me!